Who said: "A few books well chosen, and well made use of, will be more profitable than a great confused Alexandrian library."

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

"A few books well chosen, and well made use of, will be more profitable than a great confused Alexandrian library" - Thomas Fuller Introductio ad Prudentiam

Thomas FullerDr Thomas Fuller M.D (1654-1734) was educated at Queens' College, Cambridge and practiced medicine in Sevenoaks, Kent. He is remembered for his two compilations of proverbs, Introductio ad Sapientiam and Introductio ad Prudentiam, and for the later Gnomologia - a massive compilation of proverbs and aphorisms. It is said that Benjamin Franklin used Gnomologia as a source for some of the sayings in Poor Richard's Almanac.

Gnomology is not, as some might think, the study of popular garden ornaments, nor for that matter is it the study of the diminutive mythical spirits which apparently inspire the former. A gnomologist is one who collects maxims, proverbs or aphorisms which, individually, can be referred to as gnomes – from the Greek for thought or judgment.

During medieval times it became popular for the learned to put together collections of sayings and memorable thoughts – the publishing of these reached its height during the Renaissance when books of proverbs became popular. In fact, gnomology has remained popular to this day - the ubiquitous pocket diaries and calendars filled with inspirational sayings found so widely these days, whether biblical quotes or Dilbert cartoons, all trace their roots to these first gnomologies.


Confusingly, there are two notable, quotable Thomas Fullers: The Thomas Fuller quoted above (1654-1734); and Thomas Fuller (1608-1661), an English preacher, historian, and scholar.

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hillbilly Elegy
    Hillbilly Elegy
    by J.D. Vance
    In this illuminating memoir, Vance recounts his trajectory from growing up a "hillbilly" in ...
  • Book Jacket: The Dark Flood Rises
    The Dark Flood Rises
    by Margaret Drabble
    Margaret Drabble, the award-winning novelist and literary critic who is approaching eighty and ...
  • Book Jacket: All Our Wrong Todays
    All Our Wrong Todays
    by Elan Mastai
    You need a great deal of time to read All Our Wrong Todays, but don't let that put you off. ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Atomic Weight of Love
by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviator's Wife, this resonant debut spans from World War II through the Vietnam War.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Mercies in Disguise
    by Gina Kolata

    A story of hope, a family's genetic destiny, and the science that rescued them.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Our Short History
    by Lauren Grodstein

    Lauren Grodstein breaks your heart, then miraculously pieces it back together so it's stronger, than before.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

They say that in the end truth will triumph, but it's a lie.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O My D B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -